We're settling in nicely after moving mid-January, and I'm so excited for the spring I decided to bring the spring to me in this petal pink outfit! I wouldn't usually wear pink on pink but I think it works here. One nice thing about moving: your clothes get thrown together in different ways, and you notice new combinations. I bought this petal pink Sézane coat on eBay last year and only noticed yesterday that it perfectly matches this blush Free People beanie I've had for years and this soft pink secondhand Tory Burch tote from Greene Street Consignment!) Would you wear pink on pink?
About a month ago, we moved for what felt like the bajillionth, gazillionth time since we became a family six short years ago. Our family having survived these many, many, many, many moves in one piece (more or less), I told myself I was a pro now! I was sure I could make this next (and hopefully last) move easily, efficiently... so basically in my dreams.
It was A MOVE. You know what they say: pride comes before a move... or is it a fall? Fall or move, it felt the same-- i.e. chaotic, endless with a nice thump on the tuckus at the end. By definition, moving is always going to be a no-good, 100% horrendous time. There's nothing you can do about that, but, afterwards, I did discover there IS something you can do about the stress that comes along with wintertime. You don't have to give in to winter stress! As for moving stress, in some ways, it was kind of a relief to finally surrender to the total horror of moving house with two toddlers, a puppy, a cat, and a 150 lb Newfoundland. Instead of adding pressure to do human things like wear clean clothes or eat square meals, I acknowledged there might sometimes be factors outside my control. Actually, the ordeal sort of reminded me of finals. I'm not quite sure what I learned that was of much use in college-- I was a Comp Lit major so I can parse the heck out of some gnarly semiotics or what have you-- but I do feel like finals week taught me one solid life lesson: you can survive anything if you just keep slogging to the other side and worry about washing your hair later.
I'm happy to report we're on the other side of this move! We're unpacked, the cable is hooked up, the kids are watching Super Why, and my hair is clean again! And I have learned another important life lesson: that while moving is inevitably horrible and there's nothing you can do about it, THERE IS SO MUCH YOU CAN DO TO FEEL 100% BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF IN THE WINTERTIME! Below are five things I did that helped me recover my sanity and my skin after a solid month of winter, moving, and being a full-time stay-at-home mommy/ zookeeper! I have been so excited at how much improvement I've seen in my skin and my outlook after a month of making these changes. What are some of your winter remedies for dry skin and the stress of bad weather?
1. Drink Water Inside and Out
This one's pretty basic, but it makes all the difference in the world. We're all familiar with the advice to drink your body weight in H2O, so I added this twist to help it stick in my head: drink a bunch of water whenever you can but also keep your humidifier going whenever you can as well. When you're asleep, place one beside your bed. When you're working, put it on your desk.... in fact let me go fetch mine right now! I love it. It's so easy to fill and cart around and it's purty. You can find it on Amazon. (This one even comes with a selection of essential oils for $34.95 including the humidifier/ diffuser.) BRB!
Okay, I'm back. I thought about it, and I have to admit maybe learned one thing of practical value in college. I took a Buddhist literature class my first year, and while I can't remember a single text that we read-- although maybe that's where I encountered Basho first and fell in love with Japanese poetry. You can read some of my haibun here!-- I did find out there was a Sri Lankan Buddhist Monastery in West Virginia pretty close to UVA, and I went to visit it one weekend for free. I learned to meditate there, but the beauty of meditation is you can learn/ do it anywhere at any time. The meditation the monk taught me was a simple one that I also use to help me count laps in the pool. Here it is: breathe in and count 1, breath out and count 2, breathe in (3), breathe out (4), and so on and so forth until you reach 10 and then you begin again. If you want something more guided, there are so many great apps with meditation exercises. They always put me to sleep, and I tend to meditate in the morning, so I've kept to my simple version. I don't manage to meditate every day, but even doing it occasionally for ten minutes here or there makes a dramatic difference in my outlook.
3. Work Out in the Morning
On a less esoteric note, I have to admit I picked up this bit of excellent advice, because I saw that Pete Davidson was dating Kate Beckinsale, an actress I haven't paid any attention to in many a moon. When I Googled her, I was blown away by how fit she looks! Her Instagram is also hilarious, so I hope that means they're soulmates and never break up. (They probably already broke up, didn't they. PLEASE DON'T AT ME. LET ME LIVE IN MY DREAM WORLD!) At any rate, Kate recommends morning workouts both for fitness and as a way to guard against anxiety and depression, both of which I struggle with to some degree every winter. (I think I might have SAD, but I've never been diagnosed.)
"Sweat," Kate Beckinsale claims, echoing one of my favorite authors Isak Dinsesen, "is nature's anti-depressant." I still don't think I would have taken this excellent advice if I hadn't found out my local gym offers morning daycare hours. I've been dropping my daughter off at school, grabbing coffee with my husband, dropping him at work, and then hitting the gym, and instead of exhausted by this grueling morning routine, I feel transformed. Instead of only feeling better in the evenings after my husband gets home from work and I squeeze in a workout, I am now 1000% more cheerful and energized the entire day long. Basically, me and Kate Beckinsale (and Isak Dinesen) can't recommend it enough. Sweat!
For anyone who's read this post to this point (Bless you. Thank you!), you might have picked up that I'm a bigtime reader. There are two side effects to this behavior: I'm constantly recommending books and authors (see points 2 & 3 above) but I'm also constantly frowning. For some reason, when I read, I frown. Ever since I was about 20, I've been fighting the curse of the 11. As much as I hate frown lines, the idea of Botox freaks me out, although I don't judge anyone for any cosmetic procedure they want to do to feel better about themselves. So for years, I remained stuck between Kim Kardashian's remedy-- resting bitch face ad eternitum-- or Botox, which carries the side effect of DEATH. So I did nothing besides massaging my forehead a lot and wearing bangs and felt kind of bad about it, and then I finally tried Frownies, and the temporary lines that were starting to become a permanent part of my look vanished! VANISHED! This stuff is magic. I also find fine lines are more prominent in winter, so I'm excited I don't have to wait until the air grows more humid for some relief this year.
5. Keep On Top of Moisturizing Creams and Masks
This isn't just a superficial suggestion: I've noticed the smells of my Jurlique rosewater spray or my favorite Bliss honey mask really perks me up and improve my mood in the gray, scentless winter especially. They might even provide the same effect as adding color to my wardrobe. Light floral scents and colors really trick my system in the winter! I'm currently really loving Edible Beauty's Ageless Goddess Serum, everything Jurlique does with roses, and Bliss's cruelty-free masks from their glycolic peel to their gentler honey mask. Check out this post for a simple nighttime routine that's easy to keep up. Mind you, I don't have sensitive skin, though, so I can try anything. For example, I love both olive oil or coconut oil for my hair and skin in the winter, although I recommend only using olive oil at home as it doesn't absorb the way coconut oil does.
What are your favorite winter moisturizers? Do you change your beauty routine in the winter same as me? Any tips or tricks for chilling out while keeping warm in the winter?
This January, we somehow managed to buy a home by hook or by crook! Originally, after our disastrous first-time home-buying experience, which we're still paying off, we thought it would be at least another three years before we could be in a house! My daughter would have been 8-years-old by then, and I really wanted her to have those early childhood memories, growing up in a cozy home of her own. That urgency probably helped motivate us. It also helped that Ryan, my husband works in real estate law and is even a professor on the subject at both Notre Dame and Penn Law, so those factors helped us finagle the system a little this time around. Maybe that's just my positive spin on what we went through with our first house, or The Money Pit 2 for short... It was a learning experience! But it was pretty cool that we went from being clueless to working as our own agents in our second home-buying experience. I should really write a blog post sharing some home-buying tips! Being well-informed and knowledgeable made all the difference. Let me know if you'd be interested in a post about home-buying tips and tricks in the comments below!
vintage Chanel Purse from Poshmark
vintage earrings from Antique Gallery in Chestnut Hill, PA
consignment necklace by Alexandra Margnat from Linda's Stuff
vintage dress from eBay
As for my winter refresh challenge: even though we were smart enough this go-around to buy below our budget so we could invest the extra money into home improvements, there were still unforeseen expenses. So far this 2019, I've been trying to shop less both because we're on a tight budget and because I'm into the idea of sustainability. (Or maybe it's because I feel vaguely shamed by Marie Kondo's omnipresent looming shadow (even though I've never watched her show out of pure fear of that beautiful, tiny lady). In that general spirit, I've been trying to wear things I already own but that I've never worn before maybe because I thought they were inappropriate for everyday occasions like this maxi dress or because I get in a style rut, especially when it's cold out. Does that happen to anyone else? I suddenly go from outfits to utility as soon as the weather dips.
This 70s-era vintage dress was my pick for my own closet challenge. It looked an odd combination of baggy and dressy on the hanger, but I made play around with it, and it suddenly fit just right with the help of a western belt and consignment Sandro booties from Linda's Stuff on eBay. (I also found this vintage dress on eBay but from a random seller that I can't quite recommend despite how stunning the dress ended up being. It arrived wrapped in not one but TWO Glad bags, yikes. I loved the print enough to have it drycleaned and now it's good as new or even better.... it's a completely original take on a new trend and it was mine for the low price of $17!) Is there something hiding in your closet that you could refurbish with new accessories and wear again? I challenge you to find one unworn piece before winter is over and tag me on Instagram @IsabellaDavidVintage. I'd love to see what you come up with!
As for unforeseen home-buying expenses: apparently, this car has been here since approximately 1950ish?! Yikes! Our neighbors told us the whole yard was littered with old cars and this was the last one the house-flippers left. Luckily, that was one thing we learned from our first time around the home-buying block. We were not shy about our pre-purchase demands, and part of our purchase agreement was having this tetanus soup taken away! We were also pretty lucky to work with very professional builders and sellers this go-around, although I wouldn't call it luck exactly, either. We really liked and trusted the sellers and that entered into our decision as well. That's not something we considered the first time around, either. I even nicknamed the previous owner of our first house "Scary Gary", ha. I know now that should have been a red flag! Are you considering buying a home? What are some of your concerns?
I loved checking out all of Meghan Markle's outfits on her recent trip through Australasia! What about you guys? Not only am I a fan of Meghan's modern and sophisticated, yet still romantic style, but it was even more delightful to see her sporting looks from several sustainable designers like Outland Denim, Veja, Reformation, Maggie Marilyn, and others! In fact, I was so enthused, I nearly wrote a post featuring Meghan's looks with Meghan wearing them. Luckily, before I made that blogging faux pas, I remembered something I'd read in My Blogging Secrets by Amber McNaught (a book on blogging that I highly recommend): you can get in a lot of trouble using other people's pictures! I thought about a solution and realized I had a bunch of similar items in my closet but had never thought of putting them together before. I had so much fun recreating three of her looks-- the fourth was a dress similar to one she wore on the Australian leg of her trip and that I wore often this summer. (For all her looks, check out this Vogue tribute to her trip!) Which one do you think worked out best?
Meghan wore this look with a blazer by her pal Serena Williams when she first arrived in Australia. Her jeans are by sustainable brand Outland Denim.
Vintage Ralph Lauren Blazer from Shop Linda's Stuff. (Only $18!!!)
Vintage Chanel Backpack from Tradesy.
JBrand Maria high rise jeans available now at Bloomingdales.
Scotch & Soda tie-neck blouse (sustainable designer) from Bloomingdales last year. Similar Maje blouse here.
Meghan wore her Veja sneaks on a boatride. (Veja sneaks are not only gorgeous but made of fairly sourced materials!) Here's her same pair in size 5 available at Poshmark.
My Veja sneakers are from Amour Vert a few years back.
JBrand Maria high rise skinny jeans now available at Bloomingdales (and sooo comfortable!).
Wrap top from Reformation at Nordstrom.
Pre-owned Tory Burch tote from Shop Greene Street.
This is probably my favorite look from Meghan's trip! I wish we'd had more light to shoot this nighttime look, but c'est la vie... it's getting darker earlier and earlier! I'll definitely be wearing this look again and will try to get a better shot. Her white sheath dress is by Karen Gee, and she immediately crashed the website after she wore it. I think it's a nice classic piece every woman should have, for sure!
My Vince white sheath dress was pre-owned from Second Time Around.
Miu Miu trench coat pre-owned from luxury consignment at Shop Linda's Stuff.
Nude Aldo heels from several years back.
Vintage Chanel double flap purse from Tradesy.
My second favorite look of Meghan's featured a dress by Reformation. Above is a dress by Sézane I wore quite often this summer! Sézane is a nearly sustainable designer. I don't see anything about it explicitly on their website, but they do go out of their way to value their seamstresses, and I love that their clothes always arrive wrapped in muslin instead of plastic! Not to mention, I love their clothes in general. Check out their fall lookbook here!
Sezane dress and shoes from this summer.
Straw circle tote from sustainable, online-only boutique www.shopbaiae.com.
Sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere.
On a related note, following the acclaim, the Duchess of Sussex is now receiving criticism for how expensive her many (glorious) outfits were. I think people are forgetting she was a blogger and actress before she was a royal, so I bet quite a lot of people are giving her clothes. Unless that isn't allowed anymore? Hmm, anyone know the law for royals? I can't imagine it's the same as for politicos as there's no question of election shenanigans after all. I do know that her checked blazer, the one I'm imitating in this first look, was designed by her friend Serena Williams! And that immediately after she wore that white sheath dress she crashed the designer's website! Plus, we all know the Royals are, well, royally rich. Not to mention, I'm sure she has plenty of money of her own after having had a successful acting career, right? And boy, does she continue to work hard for the money! I was frankly exhausted watching her make her way through Australia, attending one event after another, always with a beautiful, warm, sincere smile plastered on her face. The thought alone of how much that poor woman had to smile gave me a headache. Let the hard-working, rich lady enjoy her pretty frocks, I say! Jeez! I'm enjoying watching her wear them!
What do you think? As a role model, is it on her to dress sensibly or are you enjoying the princess fantasy as much as I am? Actually, what I love most about Meghan Markle's style is that all her looks are so wearable, comfortable-looking even, yet somehow still elegant! She really is my favorite style icon at the moment! Which of her looks from her trip did you like the most? As for my post, which of Markle's looks from above do you think you might be able to build from your own closet as I did or which look do you think you could imagine yourself wearing?
Slow Fashion October is almost over, and I barely had a chance to participate with one thing and another. (Wisdom tooth surgery and my Kindergartener's weeklong Fall Break chief among my excuses!) I actually wanted to participate, so I don't want to make excuses. Instead, I thought I would extend the month with a No Shopping Challenge in which I spend the next month shopping my own closet and posting never-worn or little worn items to my Poshmark Closet or my IG page @IsabellaDavidVintageShop. However, Slow Fashion October is not about denial, so much as it is about actually wearing and enjoying the clothes you do have in your closet! That's hard to do when it's cluttered and overflowing. So donate or sell what you don't wear and figure out what you are wearing or what you actually need to complete your outfits instead of endlessly buying the same things over and over! Is anyone else guilty of that?!
For example, two weeks ago, I could not devise a casual outfit to wear to my wisdom tooth removal surgery to save my life (pun intended). I actually managed to pick the exact wrong thing!?! A cozy, very white sweater. Wrong choice because the doctor became wayyy too worried about messing up my sweater, when I preferred that he focused on my teeth! I decided some closet renovations were in order and undertook this challenge in that spirit: I took one essential trend of the season (mine happens to be thrifted from eBay) and wore it three ways this week!
Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below! Or check out more details on Instagram. Also, read more about what Slow Fashion October is all about here!
Pre-owned Burberry Wallet at Shop Linda's Stuff
This fall's Sézane Circle Bag available here.
Burgundy skirt from eBay. Similar here.
Frye boots from three years ago. Similar here.
MKT Studio "kuroko" sweater. Available here.
Scotch & Soda blouse from last year. Similar here.
Vintage Chanel backpack from Tradesy.
OTK boots from Bluefly 2 years ago. Similar here.
Cashmere sweater from Shop Linda's Stuff.
Tory Burch tote from Shop Greene Street Consignment.
Actually, I purchased the thrift skirt originally because of an image from Sézane's 2018 fall lookbook. I find a little inspo can help you comb through all the mountain of secondhand possibilities to unearth a treasure! That skirt (above) was only $18! I also found that cashmere sweater secondhand due to the same inspo source. FYI there are SOOOOOOOOO many like-new cashmere sweaters available for peanuts on eBay. This one cost only $20, and it's GORGEOUS. Soft and in perfect shape. If secondhand shopping isn't your thing, Reformation has started upcycling mountains of cashmere goodness into new cashmere products. Read more about why it's super important to shop ethical for cashmere here.
Which outfit do you think works best? Do you like to shop secondhand? Have you participated in a No Shopping challenge before? How long were you able to keep it up? Let me know and have a great rest of your October... Can't believe how fast it went by this year!
Vintage Ralph Lauren Blazer. Similar he re. Pink Yotto mini. Similar here . Western belt. Similar ones from Nordstrom here . Sézane bag available here. Urban Outfitters scrunchie. Sooo many similar available on Etsy (whoops!). Frye boots. Similar here . Chan Luu scarf. Similar here.
Pre-owned DVF pants. Similar here. Haute Hippie bodysuit. Similar here & only $22! Sézane bag available here. Chan Luu scarf. Similar here.
Doên blouse. Similar here . Pink Yotto mini. Similar here . Céline bag. Similar here . Frye boots. Similar here .
A great rule of thumb for the slow-fashion minded (or anyone who loves the idea of an easy capsule wardrobe of things you can put on and that can make you feel instantly both polished and effortless) is to ask yourself this question before making a purchase: will I wear this item at least 30 times? (I've also recently heard another useful shopping question you can ask yourself to help you make better shopping choices: do you want a piece or do you love it? Only buy what you love!) That said, and excellent questions to ask myself before shopping notwithstanding, minimalism doesn't seem to be in the cards for me. At least not when it comes to clothes or shoes. I love vintage-shopping and thrift-hunting too much!
However, every season I do tend to build my outfits around a few key investment pieces, and these boots are one of my favorite, investment staples of the season. Actually, the Sabrina boots are as functional as they're comfortable and chic, and I feel like I'll be wearing these until I wear them out! That has tended to be the case with all my Frye boots! They've even defined different times in my life-- my first pair of nice boots were Frye over-the-knee boots back in 2009 and accompanied me on many an audition, and I still love my Frye cowboy boots even if, sadly, they're the one pair I grew out of after I had my second child. (Size up in Frye for the sake of posterity!!) Whether you buy your Frye secondhand or at a discount on Bluefly here or brand-spanking new (if they're sold out at Bluefly in your size in black be sure to check out them out in this burgundy color as well) in my experience they're always a worthwhile investment. Again, please note: painful experience has also taught me to size a half or full size up in all my Frye purchases.
Which look is your favorite? Do you prefer 1,2, or 3? Do you own a pair of lace-up boots with a chic edge?
FYI I also love the more delicate lace-up versions of these booties at Rouje and Sézane, but I thought they were both a little too fancy for my current needs. I could say yes to the Frye boots I'm wearing above, because I knew I could wear them in a variety of situations whether caring for my toddlers or dressed up as in look #3! And they seriously lengthen my legs. I love them! Either way, check out more than 4,000 brands at 70% off at Bluefly here!
First, I'm so excited to share I'm hopping on the bandwagon and starting a YouTube channel to talk about some of the things I've been blogging about here! The studio is set up, woo hoo! Now I just need to find a sitter (UGH!!!) so I don't overwhelm myself again. The struggle to find a sitter is real, you guys! We hire someone and then they move soon after (or we do) or they don't feed my children or they want more of a full-time nanny position. I want to be home with my kids right now while they're so little; however, I do need an occasional break. So before adding another thing to my plate (and a YouTube channel would be a BIG thing), I thought it would be wise to make sure I have a break-system set up.
In the meantime, I plan to keep writing brief posts here and Insta! That's not too taxing, because, first and foremost, I love, love, love talking about green beauty care. Since making the switch to cruelty-free and organic products, I have never gotten so many compliments on my skin in my life. Ever since I made the switch to greener brands and a mostly vegetarian/ vegan diet, my skin has reflected that change in a way that surprised me in the best way, especially as I made the change as more of a broader switch to living a greener lifestyle and not specifically for beauty reasons. However, my skin is undeniably brighter and clearer and that's definitely a happy side effect! (Full disclosure: currently, I have a serving of red meat about once ever 4-6 weeks still and fish once or twice a week; I'm planning to try to go vegetarian again with the help of this easy vegan cookbook I just found, but that's a great subject for another post!)
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite green beauty brands with some codes and discounts and where to buy them:
1. Edible Beauty
I've been using this No. 3 Exotic Goddess serum for a month now, and it's life-changing. In my experience, investing in beauty products can be heartbreaking, because even if something is touted as being great, what works well for one person might not effect the same magic on another's skin, and then you're out a fortune. This serum was only moderately expensive at $54 but made such a dramatic, and yes even magical, difference I'd recommend it to anyone. Not only is the brand cruelty-free and organic, made with wild-gathered ingredients (see below), but their gold standard are ingredients that are actually, literally edible. Hence their name. I've only just expanded my use of their products to their Coco Bliss Intensive Night Repair mask and their eye cream. I'll let you guys know what I think in about a month! For now, I noticed if you buy through their website you can try four of their products for $145 plus 10% off if you sign up for their newsletter! That might sound like a lot but all four bottles are full size and last a good amount of time. Plus, with the discount that's only about $30 a bottle. Some of that cost is also part of buying products in glass bottles instead of plastic, so that's another reason, besides that of incredible quality, I think it's worth forking out a few extra bucks and cutting back elsewhere! They're also available here at Sephora.
What else you need to know:
This product is vegan, formulated without gluten, hypoallergenic, and cruelty-free. It is suitable for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding.
Edible: skin absorbs 60 percent of the substances that we place on it. So, what we put on our body is just as important as what we put in it. Edible Beauty Australia’s gold standard for purity is an edible ingredient list. This means they use only food-grade ingredients to create their range of therapeutic, wildcrafted, botanical skincare. Products are free of alcohol, fragrance, propylene glycol, preservatives, colors, and synthetics, and come packaged in Miron violet glass, which filters damaging UV rays while preserving and activating the botanical ingredients found inside.
Wildcrafted: the use of Australian wildcrafted botanicals raises the therapeutic profile of each and every formula. Found growing in remote and arid regions of Australia, these plants are forced to develop a strong antioxidant defense and preservation system to survive. When used topically, these qualities transfer to your skin, in the form of potent anti-aging, protective, nourishing, and hydrating benefits.
2. Drunk Elephant
Drunk Elephant has probably come to your attention if you spend any time on Instagram at all these days, which means most of you have probably heard of it and maybe think of it as another blogger's fad. No way! Yes, they might be a bit of a status item at the moment, as they're more on the expensive end of the spectrum. I was hesitant to try out their products for the same reasons stated above-- what might work wonders on another's skin might not necessarily suit your skin's current needs and then you're out a pretty penny... If you're as hesitant as I am, try this: Drunk Elephant offers a set called "the littles". The set contains most of their products and can give you a sense of which ones are worth investing in. While the bottles are little, the ingredients are so high quality you only need a few drops to cover your whole face! In fact, I've had the "little" bottles all summer! I've come to learn I really love two of their products-- their virgin marual luxury face oil. A tiny bit really goes a long way! My full-sized bottle is going to last forever, so it's worth the investment. I also love, love, love their T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial. Whenever I'm feeling really tired, I'll slap this on for fifteen minutes and my skin emerges glowing. I bought my first bottle back in February and I'm still on it! I've maybe given myself over 20 professional-looking facials all from the same bottle. It's definitely worth the $80 investment. Like I said, though, if you're hesitant, because of the cost, check out "the littles" here before you pick which full-sized bottle to spend more on! Drunk Elephant is also a supporter of the International Elephant Foundation. Read more below!
If you want to know more…
This innovative at-home "facial" contains a whopping 25 percent AHA and 2 percent BHA, plus Drunk Elephant’s dream team blend of glycolic, tartaric, lactic, citric, and salicylic acids. It gently but efficiently resurface the skin as it exfoliates, getting rid of built-up dead skin cells by breaking down the substance that holds them to the surface. Think of it as an extra nudge for stubborn, dull skin (in other words, it’ll knock your cells off). Babyfacial™ combines potent antioxidants like matcha, apple fruit, and milk thistle to calm and sooth with ultra-hydrating sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer and non-fragrant plant oils to replenish moisture and nourish. Chick pea flour brightens and balances the skin without over-drying, and pumpkin ferment delivers amazing enzymatic action. Niacinamide, a "cell-communicating" ingredient, effectively revives skin’s healthy look and feel as it brightens and tones. Appropriate for all skin types, Babyfacial™ will dramatically smooth texture, minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, unclog pores, and boost overall clarity—revealing fresh, radiant, baby-soft skin.
What else you need to know:
Babyfacial™ was created with every skin type in mind. Glycolic acids get a bad rap for being sensitizing, but Drunk Elephant believes that it’s the pH level and accompanying ingredients (think fragrant oils or high amounts of alcohol) that can be the real problem. They’ve formulated Babyfacial™ at the ideal pH level of 3.5 with a blend of acids that work together to ensure higher efficacy without the redness and sensitization. It is free of fragrance, essential oil, silicone, and irritant.
Drunk Elephant is committed to using only clean ingredients that either directly benefit the skin’s health or support the integrity and effectiveness of the formulations. They never take into account an ingredient’s synthetic or natural status, but instead choose based on its safety and bio-compatibility. You won’t find what Drunk Elephant calls "the suspicious six" of any kind in their products (1. silicones, 2. chemical screens, 3. sensitizing colorants/perfumes, 4. sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) 5. essential oils, 6. drying alcohols), making them appropriate for all skin. They believe that these six ubiquitous ingredients are at the root of almost every skin issue. When formulating the products, they focus on pH and toxicity, always making sure that the actives are at efficacious levels. This is the Drunk Elephant difference.
Drunk Elephant is a supporter of IEF (International Elephant Foundation) and is cruelty-free.
3. Bliss In the Honey Face Mask
I was really gratified to discover this brand at Target of all places! It's not only highly effective and very affordable at around $12-16 a unit, but the brand is committed to a cruelty-free ethos as I mentioned in a previous post. The only problem I can think of with their products is the plastic packaging, but I think that's how they're able to make spa-worthy products at affordable prices. I can understand the desire for a higher profit margin but I do wish these products came in glass. They're as good as the ones that do! I've been slowly trying out all their products, but so far this honey-lavender mask is my favorite. I'm also a huge fan of lavender. You can read about more of the amazing, surprises uses for lavender that I've discovered here.
What are some of your favorite green beauty products? Would you guys be interested in a YouTube video about more of these green beauty products or how I apply them?
P.S. Ahh! Okay, I made my first one, using my limited at-home technology. Check it out and leave a comment. Thank you!
Is there anything better than a pretty but comfortable dress that can be worn multiple ways?
1. Sun dress
Above, I've paired this sustainably made wrap dress with a slip and a structured bag by Cult Gaia. (See the bottom of the post for links to shop.) Perfect for a barbecue with friends and my feisty Super Girl sidekick!
2. Pool Coverup
Paired with a Vitamin A bikini and a simple bandana to pull back the mommy hair, it becomes a cozy but pretty piece to wear poolside while the kids run around and play. I can imagine wearing this dress to so many other occasions, too. I bet I could dress it up for a party as well or dress it down for a schoolrun.
Either way, I know I'll easily wear it 30 times or more. That's the number of times you need to wear a garment to help make sure it's sustainable. Do you ask yourself whether you'll get thirty wears out of a piece before you purchase it? I've also already worn this bandana several times as you can see here from this denim on denim look for a day at the beach, and I'm in love with the comfortable espadrilles I'm wearing in both looks here. What are your favorite summer basics?
I don't know when I first realized how wonderful a bargain thrifting was; or how much more fun it was to look for buried treasure in racks of musty garments and boxes of half-heeled shoes. It's been a part of my life for nearly as long as NYC has been: so forever, off and on. I can't remember who took me thrifting just before my freshman year of high school, either, although I do remember the thrill of my very first score: a blue velvet jacket with a mandarin collar and frog buttons-- not actual frogs, but the silky Chinese, buttony kind. I also remember wearing the jacket to my red belt high school in the south, and I remember that I sort of knew what I was doing, too.
That is: I knew what a revolutionary act it was to wear old vintage blue velvet in the land of uniform khaki. I also knew they were voting for superlatives that day. I was not completely flabbergasted when I was voted "Most Unique", probably, mostly on account of that jacket alone. It wasn't exactly a compliment, either, though it was for boys-- the boys that won that category usually also won "Most Popular" or "Funniest" while the girls were considered simply odd. However, it wasn't exactly the worst thing ever to be singled out for something in a school of 3,000 souls. At any rate, whether insult or compliment, the power to use fashion to express a feeling or an attitude hooked me, although for a while I did merge myself with the khaki sea around me, tired of fighting the tide. Still, I did eventually grow up and get out, and ever since, thrifting has been a major hobby of mine. I would now consider myself more of an expert treasure-hunter than a lucky duck. Instead of happening onto the buried loot, I know how to zoom in on where x marks the spot. However, I know a lot of people are intimidated by all the options out there, so here are some of my tips from a misspent youth for thrifting success!
1. If you are overwhelmed by thrifting, ask yourself this basic question first:
Let's call this: square one. What's your favorite color? If you gravitate towards racks with colors that vibe with you-- dove-gray lavender or brilliant lemon or sparkly emerald or prismatic purple-- I assure you, you will find something you love. I 100% guarantee you will pull something off the rack that will delight your soul and your wallet. (And, since it's secondhand, it's pretty nifty for the planet as well.) The odds will be even more in your favor if you add my next tip to the equation.
2. Find a Fancy Neighborhood and Check Out the Thriftstores There!
The best thrifting I've ever found has been in the wealthiest neighborhoods. A lot of people have the terrible habit of wearing things ONCE. ONCE. And then tossing them. It's unfortunately become a habit for people in any socio-economic strata, which is its own issue for another post, but sustainable issues aside, because of this habit, you can find amazing designer steals in neighborhood's where people buy designer clothes. I tend to hit a handful of favorite spots over and over-- Housing Works on Crosby Street or their branch in Park Slope on 5th Avenue or Bring N Buy in Ridgefield, CT or Greene Street in Chestnut Hill. Using this tip, I have found Burberry coats and Jimmy Choo Mary Janes and Theory leather jackets and cashmere sweaters and designer denim galore in spots like that. I even found the spot where the Vogue accessories director was dumping their closet for a bit-- I scored some Jimmy Choo gladiator sandals off that one! However, not everyone lives near or in or close to a fancy neighborhood. If you can't drive or Uber to a hot spot or if you're encumbered with babies and can't peruse the racks for hours, then check out my next tip.
3. Repeat after me: eBay is LIFE!!!
EBay can be pretty overwhelming, I know. I avoided the site for years. The key to success here is a simple two-pronged approach: you either a. search for something extremely specific like a maxi Reformation dress in size 6 or that pale lemon Christy Dawn dress you've been eyeing on Instagram or you b. check in with specific shops on eBay. My favorite eBay shop is called Linda's Stuff. Amazing selection and the prices hover around $24-- even for whisper thin Ulla Johnson tops or that aforementioned Reformation maxi dress.
Do you enjoy thrifting? If so, what are some of your treasure hunting tips? I'm always honing my hunting technique. If you don't enjoy thrifting, I'd love to here from you as well. Also, what's the best thing you've ever found thrifting? Check out my Pinterest board for a few ideas as well!
I love the word sartorial, because it's an embodiment of the argument that fashion can be art!! "Sartorial" rolls off the tongue, straightens itself like a graceful ballerina on the tip of the teeth, and makes one graceful leap of abstraction. "Sartorial" makes fashion sound stately and important and almost holy, which I think it is. If you treat your garments with care, you can almost always feel the same sense of calm satisfaction while wearing them as you do after indulging in a hearty meal, which is most definitely a holy thing. (Check out my latest food post for this vegetarian corn chowder we concocted this July 4!) Sartorial actually comes from the Latin for "tailor" and it's also the name of the muscle (or the "sartorius") used to move your leg into the seated position for doing some tailoring. So cool, right? Please make your sartoriuses cozy, let's all pretend I used that word correctly, and check out what shows have been keeping my own sartoriuses crossed in one never-ending, seated position this summer!
1. Love (Netflix)
Love is an odd, funny, touching, and sometimes painfully realistic love story between two unlikely candidates for love-- narcissistic Mickey and codependent Gus. Don't get me wrong: I love Mickey and Gus, but, honestly, I stayed more for all the secondary characters who make LA look like the capital of Quirk, not to mention Mickey's fabulous mix of vintage, thrift, and designer fashion on display each episode. The show's costume designer, Jennifer Eve, equates Mickey's style with " a hung-over Alexa Chung", and her costumes are as fun as that sounds! In fact, they're the inspiration for my hot weather outfit above! (More about the bag, one of which I've paired with Baiae to give away, below! And more deets about this outfit on my IG @IsabellaDavidVintage.)
2. The Time In Between/ El Tiempo Entre Costuras (Netflix)
This show set in Spain and Northern Africa in the '30s made me long to occasionally indulge in the odd tailored outfit and maybe even a hat or two as in the pic above. You'll fall just as in love with its plucky heroine as with her incredible costumes. See some of the best looks here (Just scroll down if you don't read Spanish!)
3. Call My Agent/Dix Pour Cent (Netflix)
They're remaking this show about an acting agency in Paris in English (of course). But as is, whether you speak French or not, it's one of the wittiest, smartest, sweetest shows I've seen in a long time, and it's set in the rarified, secretive acting world of Paris. Seriously, how are they going to top that?! Get past the first episode, which I found a little dry, and you'll love it! Plus, the Parisian It Girl has attained near mythical status. Check out this show for the real thing! And by that I mean the "real" real thing as many famous French actresses play (ridiculous, hilarious versions of) themselves each episode.
4. The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
This isn't the obvious choice , but watching a world where everyone, or anyway every woman, wears no makeup, scraped-back hair and horrible cloaks in muted blue, hospital-scrub green, drab gray or even, my favorite color notwithstanding, a bright red makes me delight in wearing whatever I'd like. Gimme allllll the lipsticks!!! This series shows, not tells, how powerful a statement a woman's fashion can be like nothing else I've ever seen. Plus, this is for the hesistant crowd: it's so grim it can be kind of funny, especially if you watch it with a man who will find such a female-centric show about uniquely female suffering as foreign as we find the dystopian elements. Less funny: my husband has taken to calling me "Ofryan". Not cool, dude.
5. Younger (Hulu)
It's a little hard not to mention Sex and the City on a list like this, but Younger is as good as-- if not better-- a show to fit into my top 5 list as that other show. Just like Sex and the City, it's chockfull of incredible actresses like two-time Tony-Award winning Sutton Foster, the very fabulous Hilary Duff, hilarious Miriam Schor, and the queen of deadpan humor: Debi Mazar. They all look incredible, too, of course. After all, Patricia Field is responsible for costumes on both Younger and Sex & the City, and it's fun to watch her more contemporary and only slightly more down-to-Earth takes on the fashion scene! Read more about Field's stint as Younger's costume designer here.
What are you bingeing this summer? What other shows do you think I've left off this list?
P.S. Speaking of sartorial bliss, I've partnered with www.shopbaiae.com to giveaway this chic straw circle tote. Super easy entry until July 15! Click on the photo below to check my IG for details!
It's pretty telling that one of my toddler's favorite games is sitting on mommy's bathroom floor while I'm getting ready for the day, pawing through the easy-to-reach cabinets below the sink, asking again and again, "What dis, Mommy?"
"Cream," I've taken to telling him over and over regardless of the product, although, recently, he started calling me on my nonsense.
"No, DIS one, dis ONE," he now shakes his head, one chubby hand wrapped around a little blue bottle of rewetting drops he's been using to create a rainscape over my daughter's My Little Pony, the other clutching a glass jar of Burt's Bees that I'm forced to pry from his tiny fingers before he smashes it on the ground. My daily routine is usually pretty harried and rushed for this reason, so you can see why I've grown to prize my at-home spa routine come Sunday morning.
I will keep lying to him regardless, because I just don't feel like "Korean Beauty Miracle" or "Bliss Honey Moisturizer" are essential additions to his vocabulary at this point. Confession: yep, his mama is a beauty junkie, and while I don't feel like that knowledge can benefit my 2-year-old, I do feel it can benefit women closer to my age group who want to prevent issues before they arise or who are seeking to feel better about themselves!
Interesting aside, the axiom "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" was actually coined by Benjamin Franklin, and since I'm currently living in Philadelphia, a city obsessed with old Ben, please forgive me for getting all clichéd! Overused as the phrase might be, it rings as true now as when Franklin wrote the words under an assumed name, while actually discussing fire safety (of all things, ha). Some (okay, a lot of people) might say face masks for helping you to feel good about yourself aren't as important as fire safety, but I trust that my building's superintendent has the latter under control. Feeling good about myself is something that's up to me, and my Sunday at-home spa time handily provides the cure! That said, here are my favorite preventive, organic, cruelty-free remedies!
1. Bliss In the Honey Moisturizing Mask, $12.99
I've only recently discovered the Bliss line, and I'm a fan! I was also blissfully-- (see what I did there? Okay I'll stop trying to be all axiomatic like Ben, hehe!)-- ahem, blissfully excited to hear that they've recently relaunched and stopped shipping to countries that require animal testing like China. They're also currently in the works to be certified by PETA! Read more here. While on a recent mommy run to Target, I was drawn to the large, blue sign that read "cruelty-free" and the price was an added incentive for this beauty junkie. While this mask is only $12.99, I can 100% vouch for the fact that it performs as well as masks I've purchased that are ten times the price such as SK-II's Facial Treatment Mask. (Incidentally, you can buy those in singles. It's definitely worth the occasional splurge for the cooling effect while grabbing a nap. FYI a GREAT gift for headache sufferers or new moms/ same thing aiaiai.) I've taken to applying my Bliss honey mask before I apply my mainstay Sunday mask, sometimes even leaving it on the night before while I sleep. Basically, as you might gather from this post, I'm a huge fan in general of napping in a mask. Have you guys ever tried the combo? It's another great way to mimic a real spa experience from your home. Lately, I've actually taken to alternating my nightly honey mask, which you can purchase here with this next favorite, recent purchase (below).
2. Bliss That's Incredi-Peel Glycolic Resurfacing Pads $19.99
This product truly delivers what it promises: a few swipes at night over clean skin and, talk about fire safety, you wake up absolutely glowing. However, I haven't experience the trouble side effect they mention: glycolic acid peels in general can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Personally, I don't have sensitive skin and don't burn easily, but exercise caution for sure if you're planning to be in the sun the next day. Otherwise, swipe away! This stuff is magic! You can order it online here or find it in any friendly, neighborhood Target infested with happy, squealing mommies like myself. (What is it about big box stores that fills mommies with unmitigated joy and peace? Oh, I don't know Izzy: rows of great summer reads (I'll be reviewing some faves this week!!!), beauty products galore, all the necessaries like diapers and produce in one spot, endless solutions for every household problem that might have arisen during the week. Plus snacks and coffee= yep, mommy heaven.)
3. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial $80
Okay, this one is pricier, but this is why my love for this miracle mask is twofold: a. it's very, very, very effective and b. a wee bit goes a loooonnnnggg way! I've had my initial purchase since March, I've been using it at least weekly if not bi-weekly since then, and it's lasted for almost 20 uses. That's way less than ten dollars a face mask so far, and the bottle still feels substantially full. Actually, that's something I've noticed about all the Drunk Elephant products. They're made with super high-quality, vegan, cruelty-free ingredients, and a little goes a long way. As a true believer, I've recently purchased Drunk Elephant's "The Littles", this cute little bag with samples of their whole line. I'll be back to report on my faves soon!
Or 3. Hanacure the All-In-One Facial $110
Basically, after washing off a face mask that I applied the night before in anticipation of my Sunday soak, I apply a more expensive, intensive mask like the Drunk Elephant's Babyfacial one I just reviewed above or my newest purchase: the Hanacure All-In-One Facial. I only recently purchased Hanacure, so I've only had the opporutnity to use it once! If you're not an insane beauty junkie who has to jump on every Instagram beauty trend bandwagon and $110 seems a little crazy to plop down on a mask you've never tried, you can also buy a single one to sample from Amazon. It's available here for $45. I liked it, but I didn't apply it thick enough to warrant one of those silly, little old lady selfies that have helped popularize the brand. I was also sold on the face that the masks are also cruelty-free-- you might have noticed that's as important to me as a mask's efficacy!!-- and they're also formulated without parabens, phthalates (whatever those are, but they do sound bad!) or sulphates. Best of all, I can report it does feel gentler on the skin than either the Drunk Elephant Babyfacial or Bliss's Incredi-peel. If you have sensitive skin, this might be worth the splurge!
That's it! Step 1: a mask the night before combined with step 2: a morning mask and a quick soak to wash off the week and I feel prepared for (almost) everything the next week has to bring! I've also noticed a big difference in my skin since I've started taking the time to apply these masks when I have the opportunity or force my family to (ahem) respect the opportunity. What are your favorite masks? Any home remedies? I used to be more into home remedies when acne was an issue-- egg yolks can work magic!-- but lately it's all about moisture and brightness for me. I'd love to hear your suggestions for either kinds! I think organic home remedies would be fun to test out and would make for a fun Sunday self-care post! Have a great week!
P.S. On a quick related note: my husband and I also chose to destress by, as we call it "crushing it"-- pizza, wine, fries, sushi-- aka food, the other pathway to bliss next to big box stores. The result was one fine day recently neither of us could fit into our pants! We've adopted the "Fit Into Your Pants Diet" and it's going great. So far this week, I lost a pound and a half. Read more about it, and the many dietary benefits of drinking celery, here.
A Slow Fashion Diary